WE Issues: Conventions and International Mechanisms: Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and the CRPD Committee

  • May 10, 2018 WEI Candidate Survey Results for Upcoming UN Treaty Body Elections

    States that have ratified CEDAW and the CRPD—the two international human rights treaties that most directly address the rights of women and girls with disabilities—will soon elect a new set of experts to monitor these treaties. WEI sent out a questionnaire about women and girls with disabilities to all candidates for the CEDAW and CRPD Committees. Check out the results and learn more about these Committees at the links below:

    CEDAW Committee Elections and Candidate Questionnaire Results

    CRPD Committee Elections and Candidate Questionnaire Results
  • Feb 8, 2018 Electing Women with Disabilities to the CRPD Committee: Tips for Potential Candidates

    Out of the 18 experts on the current CRPD Committee, only one is a woman with a disability. We need strong women to ensure our rights. WEI has put together some tips on how to run for CRPD committee. Nominations for elections close on April 12, 2018.

    WEI & CBM Handout for Electing Women with Disabilities to the UN CRPD Committee January 24, 2018.pdf

    WEI & CBM Handout for Electing Women with Disabilities to the UN CRPD Committee January 24, 2018.docx

  • January 31, 2018 Preliminary Shadow Letter on Poland to the CRPD Committee List of Issues

    WEI and Association for Women with Disabilities ONE.pl submitted a preliminary shadow letter on the rights of women and girls with disabilities to the CRPD Committee to assist the Committee in developing a list of important issues it should address with Poland during its upcoming review in September. This letter highlights gaps in Poland's state report to the CRPD Committee, including concerning gender-based violence, sexual and reproductive rights, legal capacity, and employment and discrimination. The letter further addresses three reservations that Poland made when it ratified the CRPD—on legal capacity, abortion, and the right to marry and found a family—which disproportionately affect the rights of women and girls with disabilities.

    ONEpl and WEI Submission to CRPD Committee for Poland LOI FINAL Jan 31 2018.pdf

    ONEpl and WEI Submission to CRPD Committee for Poland LOI FINAL Jan 31 2018.docx

  • January 31, 2018 Preliminary Shadow Letter on South Africa to the CRPD Committee List of Issues

    WEI, Cape Mental Health, Professor Helene Combrinck of North-West University, The Centre for Human Rights at the University of Pretoria, and Lawyers for Human Rights submitted a preliminary shadow letter on the rights of women and girls with disabilities to the CRPD Committee to assist the Committee in developing a list of important issues it should address with South Africa during its upcoming review in September. This letter highlights gaps in South Africa's state report to the CRPD Committee, including concerning gender-based violence and access to services, sexual and reproductive rights care and violations, legal capacity, access to justice, and lack of data and statistics on women with disabilities

    South Africa CRPD LOI Submission Women with Disabilities Jan 31 2018 FINAL.pdf

    South Africa CRPD LOI Submission Women with Disabilities Jan 31 2018 FINAL.docx



  • November 30, 2017 WEI Comments to the CRPD Committee on its Draft General Comment No. 6 on Equality and Non-Discrimination

    Persons with disabilities, including women and girls with disabilities, experience unique violations of their rights as a result of discrimination based on disability and other statuses. Some of these violations—including disability-based violence and violations in the context of sexual and reproductive rights—not only result from disability-based discrimination but are also distinct forms of discrimination. Through this submission WEI provides comments related to the rights of women and girls with disabilities to the CRPD Committee on its Draft General Comment on Equality and Non-Discrimination. These comments focus on three areas: (1) recognizing violence against persons with disabilities as a form of discrimination; (2) recognizing discrimination in the context of the right to health, particularly concerning the sexual and reproductive rights of women and girls with disabilities; and (3) better defining multiple and intersectional discrimination, particularly as it affects women and girls with disabilities. In the discussion on sexual and reproductive rights, WEI's comments address the issue of prenatal genetic testing, recommending that the CRPD Committee change language in the Draft General Comment to ensure that all women and girls, including women and girls with disabilities, have the information they need to exercise autonomy in the context of pregnancy.

    WEI Submission CRPD Draft GC6 Equality and Non-Discrimination FINAL November 30 2017.pdf

    WEI Submission CRPD Draft GC6 Equality and Non-Discrimination FINAL November 30 2017.docx


  • July 18, 2017 Women Enabled International Submission to the CRPD Committee on Its Draft General Comment No. 5 on CRPD Article 19 on the right to live independently and be included in the community, July 7, 2017.

    On July 7, 2017, Women Enabled International (WEI) provided comments about gender-based violence and independent living to the CRPD Committee on its Draft General Comment No. 5 on the right to live independently and be included in the community under CRPD Article 19. Women and girls with disabilities are more likely than men with disabilities and other women to experience gender-based violence, which can isolate them and increase the barriers they experience to exercising their right to independent living. In particular, women with disabilities who are subjected to domestic violence are frequently more dependent on their abusers for daily life activities and find that social services, including shelters, intended for victims of domestic violence are inaccessible to them because of their disability. Furthermore, women with disabilities living in institutions are at increased risk of gender-based violence because they are separated from the community and denied the right to independent living, a situation that requires specific monitoring and support for women with disabilities. Through this submission, WEI recommends specific changes to the CRPD Committee's Draft General Comment to better address these issues.

    Read the submission here:
    WEI Submission to CRPD Committee Draft GC5 on CRPD Article 19 the right to independent living and inclusion in the community July 7 2017 FINAL.pdf

    WEI Submission to CRPD Committee Draft GC5 on CRPD Article 19 the right to independent living and inclusion in the community July 7 2017 FINAL.docx

  • icon of an event flyer with a photo of a UN session underwayJune 9, 2017 COSP Side Event: Electing Women with Disabilities: Why and How to Ensure a Gender- and Regionally-Balanced CRPD Committee

    The Permanent Missions of Ecuador and Germany to the United Nations invite you to a Side Event during the 10th Conference of States Parties to the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Organized by the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, UN Women, Women Enabled International and the International Disability Alliance

    Wednesday, 14 June 2017 at 13:15–14:30
    Conference Room 7, UN Headquarters, New York, NY

    View the event flyer:

    COSP10-Side-Event-CRPD-Gender-Regional-Balance-Flyer.docx

    COSP10-Side-Event-CRPD-Gender-Regional-Balance-Flyer.pdf

  • June 8, 2017 COSP Side Event: Electing Women with Disabilities to the CRPD Committee: A Discussion and Strategy Sessionicon of a flyer listing event details with a graphic depicting an unbalanced committee

    Women Enabled International and UN Women cordially invite you to attend an evening side event to the Conference of States Parties to the CRPD

    Wednesday, June 14, 2017 at 6:15-8:00pm
    Conference Room 11, UN Headquarters, New York, NY

    Prior to this election, the CRPD Committee had six female members and twelve male members. As a result of the recent elections, as of January 1, 2017, seventeen of the eighteen members of the CRPD Committee are men, and only one is a woman. As such, the CRPD Committee is the second most gender-imbalanced treaty monitoring body, with 94% male membership…

    UN agencies have also emphasized the importance of ensuring that women, including women with disabilities, are represented on treaty monitoring bodies and in other UN institutions.

    In its General Recommendation No. 23 on women in political and public life, the CEDAW Committee recognizes that women face many barriers to participating in political and public life, including restrictions on movement, negative attitudes about their political participation, and lack of confidence and support for female candidates in the electorate.

    On April 12, 2017, the CRPD Committee adopted a statement on achieving gender balance amongst its members. Although the Committee recognizes that the 2016 elections helped achieve greater disability diversity, it expressed concern about the “absence of gender parity,” noting that equality between men and women is one of the principles of the CRPD.

    Read the memo prepared by WEI:

    WEI CRPD Committee Election - Where Are the Women - Need for Gender Balance June 5, 2017.docx

    WEI CRPD Committee Election - Where Are the Women - Need for Gender Balance June 5, 2017.pdf

    Download and share the event flyer:

    CSP10-WEI-Concept-Note-Strategy-2017.docx

    CSP10-WEI-Concept-Note-Strategy-2017.pdf

  • April 14, 2017 Women Enabled International Guide to CRPD General Comment No. 3: Women and Girls with Disabilities

    This guide to General Comment No. 3 on women and girls with disabilities (GC3) from the United Nations Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD Committee) attempts to pull together  the information contained in disparate parts of GC3 on the major themes it covers, including gender-based violence, sexual and reproductive health and rights, and access to justice. This guide also brings together the recommendations that the CRPD Committee makes in GC3 about eliminating discrimination and stereotypes and ensuring equality for women and girls with disabilities.

    This guide is divided into six sections:
     
    · Discrimination, Equality, and the Content of Article 6;
    · Respect, Protect, Fulfill Framework;
    · Stereotypes;
    · Gender-based Violence;
    · Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR); and
    · Access to Justice.
     
    These are the major themes covered by GC3. However, GC3 also addresses other issues, including legal capacity, employment, public participation, and education, among others. The charts below include these issues as they are relevant to the themes above, but GC3 may also contain additional information on these topics and should be directly consulted as needed.

    WEI Guide to CRPD General Comment No 3 on Women UPDATED FINAL GC TEXT April 2017.pdf

    WEI Guide to CRPD General Comment No 3 on Women UPDATED FINAL GC TEXT April 2017.docx

  • Updated July 30, 2016  

    WEI President Stephanie Ortoleva expresses outrage over CRPD Committee elections - watch new video clip from the 9th Session of the Conference of States Parties to the CRPD.


    Women Enabled International statement on the CRPD Committee elections (originally posted June 16, 2016)

    Women enabled International is horrified about the results of the 9th Conference of States Parties election of the new members of the Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. Not one woman was elected! We need the voices and experiences of women and girls with disabilities to be represented on this important Committee and, as studies worldwide have shown, electing women to office is the best way to ensure that our needs as disabled women and girls are addressed and effectively reflected in human rights law and international policy and development.




    infographic showing 17 people of one type and 1 of anotherWe must point out that the CRPD itself has clearly spoken on this issue: CRPD Article 34(4) states:

    4. The members of the Committee shall be elected by States Parties, consideration being given to equitable geographical distribution, representation of the different forms of civilization and of the principal legal systems, balanced gender representation and participation of experts with disabilities.

    We note that it was under the leadership of the six women who served on the CRPD Committee that a draft General Comment on CRPD Article 6 on Women was drafted and we passionately hope that it will be adopted in the July CRPD Committee session as clarity and guidance is needed on the understanding of this important CRPD provision.

    Women Enabled International President and Legal Director Stephanie Ortoleva Stated: "Where are the women? The lack of 'balanced gender representation' as required under CRPD Article 34(4) for the CRPD Committee is certainly a dark day for the rights of women and girls with disabilities. we must mobilize to ensure that the next election in 2018 is a gamechanger and results in even greater gender balance. The time to start organizing is NOW!"

    Watch the Women enabled International website and social media for further calls to action!
  • July 26, 2015 WEI's submission to the UN Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities draft General Comment on Article 6 on women, raising the myriad human rights issues raised by the multiple and intersecting forms of discrimination that women with disabilities encounter, focusing on gender-based violence as a pernicious manifestation of such discrimination, noting that women with disabilities experience gender-based violence at a magnitude greater than women without disabilities, and women with disabilities face numerous barriers to ending the cycle of violence and accessing justice, WEI clarifies States' due diligence obligations with respect to gender-based violence committed against women with disabilities by both state and private actors and provides an overview of barriers that women with disabilities face in accessing justice and identifies States' obligations to respond to such violence, and then WEI concludes with recommendations for strengthening the language of the draft General Comment to provide greater clarity on these obligations.

    Read WEI's submission in MS Word
    Read WEI's submission in PDF
    Read the CRPD Committee's Draft General Comment
  • May 5, 2014 Women Enabled and the Center for Reproductive Rights submit to the CRPD Committee our comments on draft CRPD Article 9 on Accessibility, raising important issues relating to access to sexual and reproductive health care services and rights for women with disabilities. Read the comments (PDF) (Word doc)
  • October 4, 2013 The Draft General Comments on Article 12 Legal Capacity and the Draft General Comments on Article 9 on Accessibility have been released by the Committee of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. These drafts are available at:  http://www.ohchr.org/EN/HRBodies/CRPD/Pages/DGCArticles12And9.aspx
  • The Committee invites DPOs and persons with disabilities, States Parties, NHRIs, independent monitoring bodies under Article 33(2) of the CRPD, NGOs, research institutions and academics to submit comments to the draft General Comments in writing in English, Spanish or French by 31 January 2014 to crpd@ohchr.org

  • April 15, 2013 At the Opening Meeting of the Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities' 9th Session, Maria Soledad Cisternas Reyes was elected by an overwhelming majority as the new Chair of the Committee. She is the first woman to Chair the Committee. Women Enabled, Inc. stands ready to assist, especially in the Committee's work to advance the rights of women and girls with disabilities! We also thank outgoing Chair Ron McCallum for his years of excellent service.
  • April 14, 2013 We are pleased to announce that on Wednesday, April 17, the public sessions of the CRPD Committee's 9th session will be broadcast live on the web at www.treatybodywebcast.org  From 12 -1pm (Geneva time): First half day of general discussion on women and girls with disabilities. From 3 - 6pm (Geneva time): Second half day of general discussion on women and girls with disabilities. Convert Geneva time to your own time zone at www.thetimenow.com International sign interpretation of the public discussions will also be webcast live. The recordings will be archived after the close of the session on the same website.
  • April 9, 2013 Women Enabled has reviewed the Concluding Observations prepared by the CRPD Committee for the six countries for which the CRPD Committee has issued Concluding Observations to determine the extent to which issues of concern to women and girls with disabilities were addressed. We have determined that more comprehensive coverage of issues of concern to women and girls with disabilities must be included in this process. Below are detailed analyses and recommendations, as well as the CRPD Committee's List of Issues posed to each country and the CRPD Committee's Concluding Observations for each country.

    1. Overall analysis and recommendations (PDF) (doc)

    2. Reviews of the six individual countries:

    • Argentina - Women Enabled's Review (PDF) (doc)
    • Argentina - CRPD List of Issues (PDF) (doc)
    • Argentina - CRPD Concluding Observations (PDF) (doc)
    • Peru - Women Enabled's Review (PDF) (doc)
    • Peru - CRPD List of Issues (PDF) (doc)
    • Peru - CRPD Concluding Observations (PDF) (doc)
    • China - Women Enabled's Review (PDF) (doc)
    • China - CRPD List of Issues (PDF) (doc)
    • China - CRPD Concluding Observations (PDF) (doc)
    • Spain - Women Enabled's Review (PDF) (doc)
    • Spain - CRPD List of Issues (PDF) (doc)
    • Spain - CRPD Concluding Observations (PDF) (doc)
    • Hungary - Women Enabled's Review (PDF) (doc)
    • Hungary - CRPD List of Issues (PDF) (doc)
    • Hungary - CRPD Concluding Observations (PDF) (doc)
    • Tunisia - Women Enabled's Review (PDF) (doc)
    • Tunisia - CRPD List of Issues (PDF) (doc)
    • Tunisia - CRPD Concluding Observations (PDF) (doc)

  • February 2013 Read Women Enabled's submission to the CRPD Committee for its April 2013 General Discussion on Article 6 on women. Women Enabled calls on the CRPD Committee to address access to justice for women and girls with disabilities as it elaborates a general recommendation on Article 6 on women. Click here for Women Enabled's submission. Click here to read the CRPD Committee's Statement on its half day of general discussion.
  • Sept 2011 Stephanie Ortoleva speaks at a side event at the CRPD Conference of State/Parties Sept 7, 2011 at the UN in NYC: Gender Perspectives Using International Law to Advance the rights of Women and girls with Disabilities.
    PDF: View the event flyer.
  • 2006 UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities
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